Two more stories over at Games Industry paint a less-than-rosy picture about the health of the games industry.
Take-Two has reported losses of $110 million thanks to less-than-stellar sales for Max Payne 3 (3 million copies – yes, that is a low number of sales for an AAA-title) and Spec Ops: The Line.
EA, meanwhile, was in the black, but not as much as last year. For its Q1 sales fell from $999 million this time last year to $955 million. Profit was also $20 million lower.
Sadly for EA its Star Wars MMO has failed to ignite the market. The publisher has admitted there’s less than a million subscribers to the game, and for such a massive franchise, developed by such an impressive company as Bioware, that number is an embarrassing failure.
This is despite a massive increase of $110 million in digital sales. There’s consistency in these numbers if you look at both Take-Two and EA’s performance. Take-Two’s losses have dropped almost exactly as much as EA’s profit would have if EA wasn’t propped up by digital content. Take-Two doesn’t push digital nearly as hard as EA.
What does that mean? The retail market for games has dropped a massive amount for everyone. Those that aren’t compensating with digital sales are seeing the bottom of their profitability fall out underneath them.
I hadn't realized TOR was doing so badly. Less than a million subs is just embarrassing.
Outside of WoW, is there any MMO that's really done all that great in the last few years?
Ignoring the F2P MMOs, the only one that I can think of is EVE Online. But in a way, EVE Online is such a unique entity that calling it an MMO is like calling one of the seven seas a large body of water. While technically true and unarguable, there are reasons why people view it as more than just another MMO.
Final Fantasy XI also remains popular enough that ten years after the game's original release, Square Enix is still releasing new expansion packs.
And as Ninja said, the F2P model is proving a success for MMO developers. Turbine's two games, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online only became popular after going free, but they are really well supported now.